During the Gubernatorial campaign, there were few people who were more outspoken (and hyperbolic) against Governor Corzine than the Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel. He ignored the fact that then-candidate Chris Christie vowed to “gut” the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. He pretended that Christie’s views which left no doubt about how low of a priority initiatives such as green energy, clean air and water as well as protecting our natural resources were didn’t exist. He minimized Corzine’s efforts that made New Jersey consistently in the top 2 or 3 states in the entire nation when it came to the very issues that his Sierra Club held dear.
Whether it was naiveté or a personal grudge or an honest belief that Chris Daggett could win – we won’t know. What we do know is that his outspoken and shortsighted (not to mention oftentimes flat wrong) criticism was going to come back and hurt the very organization that he is supposed to be looking out for was as obvious as Christie not being able to keep many of his campaign promises.
So predictably, when Christie signed Executive Orders that give authority for governmental official to roll back regulations regarding the air we breathe and water we drink, Tittel complained that this was unfair and that the Orders were an attack against our environmental protections.
While Tittle may very well be precisely on point, this should come as no surprise. Whether Tittel likes it or not, much of this blame falls squarely on his shoulders. He was the one who was reckless in his “strategy” during the campaign – trying to settle some political score instead of looking out for the longer term and the bigger picture. Unfortunately for the rest of New Jerseyans, our air and water very well may be more toxic and less safe due to Tittel’s shortsighted and petty behavior a few months ago.